Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts review - This special definitely has its moments but it is hardly a reunion
Show – Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts
Platform – Amazon Prime Video/ HBO Max
Genre – Documentary
Language - English
Cast – Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Tom Felton, Robbie Coltrane, Helena Bonham Carter,
Plot Summary -The cast of the Harry Potter franchise gets together on the 20th anniversary of the first film Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.
Over a decade after the Harry Potter film franchise ended With Deathly Hallows Part 2, the cast of the films reunited. It was an exciting occasion for Potterheads across the globe to see old friends reunite for Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts after having worked on the franchise together for a decade and revisiting their days and how they eventually all became a big family.
The reunion served as a window into the minds of the cast as they walk fans through their ten years of working on the sets. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint who gave J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World’s most beloved characters a face showed their more vulnerable side. Behind the scenes footage from the films showed how they clicked together from the very first scene to their year growing up on these sets were no doubt a treat to watch.
However, despite all the small nuggets of nostalgic moments, this big coming together was definitely underwhelming. There was no big coming together to begin with. The Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts is a reunion filmed strategically in parts and doesn’t at all feel organic. It would be seemingly impossible to get all of the cast together, but the once that did sign up for the reunion don’t really come face to face and that begins to bug you beyond a point.
Understandably there’s a lot you expect from the reunion but there is only so much it can deliver. What it does provide is a good back drop into the friendships and bonds forged on sets. But what it doesn’t provide is a whole lot more and that makes you feel cheated.
More than anyone else Emma Watson saves face for this reunion, ironically the one cast member who openly admitted that she felt alone during the making of the films and at one point was determined to leave. The actress gets major props for her enthusiasm which many of the others seem to be lacking.
The actress’ friendship with Daniel and Rupert is well known but her talking about her bond with Tom Felton was a special treat. The actor who plays Draco also makes his presence felt in a big way while talking about his character and Emma. However you do miss seeing him talk about if not interact with his arch nemesis which was Harry himself.
A part from the lead trio, it is good to see cast members like Robbie Coltrane, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman and Ralph Fiennes. Raplh who played Lord Voldemort was especially a treat as he gets talking about getting into the psyche of playing the villain.
James and Oliver Phelps, Bonnie Wright, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch and Tom Felton were among the younger members of the cast you spot in the reunion.
Meeting these actors however makes you miss several others like Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, David Thewlis and Harry Melling among others who played big parts but for reasons unknown weren’t included in the special.
While this special (hardly a reunion) was an insightful set of interviews, it does leave you wanting a lot more. If you are a Potterhead you’ll appreciate what you get but definitely won’t be nearly satisfied with it.